Previous studies of patients with severe chronic alcoholism have shown a high prevalence of emotional distress such as anxiety and depression, and neuropsychological impairments such as executive deficits, but few have examined the relationship between these disorders. We addressed this issue in 51 abstinent patients with histories of severe chronic alcoholism utilizing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRNTB). Applying factor analysis to the MMPI clinical and validity scales, we derived four dimensions accounting for 78% of the available variance. We found that Factor 1, which loaded on most clinical scales of the MMPI, was significantly correlated (p < .01) with performance on the Halstead Category Test (HCT), a measure of executive functioning. Further, group analysis with MANOVA using HCT (impaired and nonimpaired) as the independent variable revealed a significant main effect for Factor 1 (p < .004), which was maintained and strengthened when age and education were controlled as covariates (p < .001). The results suggest a relationship between emotional distress and executive functioning as measured by the HCT, reflecting differing facets of frontal lobe dysfunction common to cognitive and affective domains in patients with severe chronic alcoholism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health